There are several common slang names for starting hands in Texas Hold’em. For example, AA is rockets, or 77 is axes. The expression “claws of an eagle” in poker did not appear in publications until 2018. This material shows several examples of playing “junk” starting hands like 7-4 different suits.


Almost all game jargon is in English. “Eagle’s Claws” is one of the first times the Russian slang term made its way into poker glossaries.

In Texas Hold’em, this is the nickname for the starting hand 7-4. There is no consensus on whether the seven and four should be of the same suit.

Why such a strange name?

Can catch the flop well.

External resemblance to the claws of a bird.

The expression came from Russian offline.

Over the course of about a year, various famous poker personalities used the name of the hand 7-4 in their videos and posts:

Shuller_A1t (Alexey Altshuller) is a streamer and professional Omaha cash game player.

Kot_Spartac (Peter Kotelnikov) is a multi-table tournament specialist.

1nvoker (Vyacheslav Ozhigov) is an online high roller and streamer.

Further, Ilya Gorodetsky began to use the slang term in his poker broadcasts. Since 2019, the expression has been used when discussing hands on forums, in Internet posts and on streams.


The table shows that beginners should not experiment and invest money trying to get a strong combination to the starter on small cards. For example, a hand of 7-4 suited is taken.

No meld and no draw~52%
Pair (one match)26.94%
Open Ended Straight Draw5.2%
Flush draw10.9%
Two pair with two hits on the flop2.02%
Straight, Flush or Straight Flush1.48%
Full house or four of a kind0.17%

If a poker player regularly invests preflop with 7-4 suited, then we can say that he is playing ~60% of his starting range. With such frequency, recreational poker players (fish) who do not have a profit at a distance participate in the distributions.

In the example, an adequate play with 7-4 of the same suit. The poker player called the preflop raise on the button, as he foresaw the creation of a multipot. Behind him are recreational players who often hit the flop.


A starter of 7-4 different suits is played very rarely. Therefore, it is the same-suited hand that should be called “eagle’s claws”.

There are three main situations of active actions on the preflop:

Stealing blinds (stealing) in cash from tight opponents.

Forced all-in in a small stack tournament.

Pre-flop raise or 3-bet chip leader in a tournament when close to cash. The goal is to build a stack at the expense of players who are afraid of being eliminated.

If none of the three described situations exist, then the way to get on the flop 90% of the time is to check in the big blind.

More rare actions with a weak starter, performed based on statistics and observation of opponents:

Calling a preflop raise in position against a player who can be bluffed out of the hand.

Calling a preflop raise with two poker players already in (multipot).

Re-raising from the button against a very active opponent in the cut-off.

The last action is called “light 3-bet” (Lite 3-bet). The normal range of stealing blinds from the button in the cash game is ~45%, and from the cut-off – 25-30%. When this range is exited, opponents begin to resist active stealing.

Stealing blinds in a 70%+ cash game is a normal game for the first 2-3 rounds, until the opponents realize that their opponent is abusing the move.

In tournaments, you can go all-in with a hand of 7-4 of the same suit from late positions with effective stacks of 7 big blinds, provided that one of the chip leaders of the table is not sitting in the blinds. With a smaller stack, calls are expected from bad but strong hands like J-6 or 8-5. With 5-6 bb in the stack, it is acceptable to post from an early position, provided that the blinds come in 1 or 2 rounds. Tournament calls with 7-4 are worth playing when it is possible to increase the number of chips by 2 times or more. That is, with 3 bb in the stack or multipot.

Pre-flop all-in tactics and calling with a weak hand can be modified depending on the type of opponents, the dynamics of the table and your image. The basic range of actions on the preflop is taken from the well-known tables – preflop charts. They are not the same. In different sources, preflop all-in and calling ranges can differ significantly.


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